Last night was one of the sloppiest Tiger games I’ve seen in a long time. While I think that this organization has taken some tremendous strides this season, last night was going to be one of those that you just threw in the trash. Defensively, they were a disaster. They made four errors, including two catcher’s interference calls. They pitched very well, but got completely shut down by Framber Valdez. If not for a Kerry Carpenter pinch-hit single in the bottom of the eighth, the Tigers would’ve had zero hits going into the ninth inning. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, it seemed like it was inevitable that this was going to be a shutout. Miguel Cabrera put together a great at-bad against Ryan Pressly to get started, and then we saw some actual magic at Comerica Park.
It’s pretty incredible what a young prospect can provide you with under the right circumstances. Parker Meadows has been sensational since being called up by the Detroit Tigers. Do you know how fun that is to say? We are so used to seeing our top guys get called up and look terrible. Spencer Torkelson was one of the worst players in baseball for a year and a half before he finally found it, though even he has looked bad over the last few games. Parker Meadows, after spending a lot of time down in the minor leagues, got called up and has been wonderful. He has looked comfortable out in centerfield, and he’s seen the ball well at the fish. The only thing that was missing was his first career RBI and his first career home run. He got those on the same swing last night.
Throughout the last seven years of tiger baseball, we have seen little glimpses of hope. Two years ago, it seemed like this team was trending upward after a 77-win season. It turned out that that little run they had in the latter part of 2021 was very much a fluke. This is still not a very good ball club, but something about the vibes at Comerica Park feels different. There have been a lot of games this year where the Tigers have fought back and came up short. I’ve said for a while that one of these days, they would win one of those games. Last night was that game.
It would be irresponsible for me to make any judgments on Parker Meadows. We’re talking about a guy who’s less than a week into his Major League career. But it’s clear he’s been comfortable at the dish since getting called up. Looking comfortable has not been a thing for many of the young Tigers prospects of recent history. I’ll maintain my belief that Al Avila was not incapable of finding talent. He was incapable of developing that talent. I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that guys like Kerry Carpenter and Parker Meadows ascended the second Al Avila lost his job. These guys were never put in a position to succeed. Maybe that’s finally changing.
Being a Detroit Tigers fan is not something I would have wished on anyone. It’s been a very difficult journey over these last seven years. Lately it’s made me very frustrated because I think it makes me worse at my job. If the Tigers were actually good, we could squeeze some liquid out of this rag. But every so often, you’ll have these little moments that remind you not just of what things used to be, but what things can be. I don’t know when the watershed moment is going to come. But at some point, the Tigers will have a game that we look back on and say, “Yeah, this is where it all began.” I don’t know if that game was last night, but maybe, just maybe, it was.